The driving got more dangerous, it was past 2 in the morning, I was too tired to go on, my radio was loud and I wasn't finding anywhere to get off, Welcome to Central Pennsylvania.
I had avoided driving at night for the whole trip. I would drive an hour at the most and head to either a motel or a rest stop. Neither was available on rt 22 in central Pennsylvania. I was talking to my cat, who was on my front seat, not looking happy. I needed to stay awake and it was too hard. Finally, salvation, a little mini- mall on the left side of the road. I turned off, looked for a place to pee, and tried to sleep.
I let my cat go out, but he didn't want to. I couldn't sleep. I didn't need to, I just needed to rest. I almost nodded off, when I heard some noise, I had no idea what type of an area I was at, so I was a bit nervous.
It was a car driving around the parking lot, it was almost dawn.
I had been in the lot for at least an hour, closed my eyes for the most part. I pretended to be looking at the map, to see what the guy was up to, It turns out he was a merchant in the mall. I left, I had enough rest, besides, I can see now that I was getting closer to the familiar. I was getting close to Harrisburg, a place I was familiar with through my old girlfriend from years ago. We had visited her family several times when she came with me to visit my folks. It was too early in the morning to do any activities but I did stop for breakfast in a cafe east of Harrisburg.
I-78 was running concurrently with 22 which meant I was making good time, I was in Pennsylvania Dutch country. Well, I was approaching one of my most favorite tourist traps ever, Roadside America. The first time I saw it was on the way back from Hershey Park one time when my cousins visited from Ireland. It's a huge model train set built buy one man from the 30's, 40's and 50's. It's worth the stop if you are going long distances but it was too early in the morning for me to see it. I parked again and was able to get a good nap in before I took off again. I was feeling smelly. I had not taken a bath since Wednesday. I had not had a good night sleep in the same period of time.
I finally was approaching New Jersey. My brother lives off of I-78. I was looking forward to talking to a friendly face. It was approaching ten in the morning. I decide to surprise my brother and maybe my sister in law. I actually was going to pawn off Spookie on them. When I stopped in their driveway I got out to let my cat out, only to see another cat that looked just like him. It turned out to be my brother's new cat. My cat didn't want to go out anyway, so I went to knock on the door. It was past ten in the morning, but it was Saturday. I didn't want to be too loud, since I didn't tell my brother I was coming. No one answered so I took off again and headed to my parents place.
I took the scenic route through Princeton and south, going through historic towns along the way. I was hoping to see these kind of towns along the way across country, but it's one thing that New Jersey excels at on the western, central part of the state.
I was near the end of the trip and I could not be more scared of the future. I don't know what it's going to involve. I came to this realization when I was travelling on roads that would become very familiar to me in the coming years. I had no idea what I was going to do and what kind of job I was going to have and where I was going to live. I passed by my parents town to buy a storage space to put my stuff I don't need on a daily basis. My cat wandered in and out the storage space and the mini van.
I was approaching the road that would lead to my parents neighborhood. My long trip was coming to an end. I no longer had a place of my own and who knows when I'll see the city I grew to love again. I was back in New Jersey, where I would call home for at least the next three years.
I greeted my parents, who was entertaining a friend who happened to be a nun, Sister Peter. I looked like a slob, hadn't bathed in three days. I said hi and told them about Spookie. I returned the van, at a shady Exxon station near Princeton. I took a bath and watched the news, it seems that there was a hurricane approaching the city of New Orleans...